Sugary Drinks Can Be a Death Sentence
Sipping on sugary drinks is not only linked to obesity and diabetes, but the behavior may also kill you, according to new research.
A study published in Circulation reported that sugar-filled beverages - sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks or sweetened teas - may lead to about 184,000 adult deaths globally every year.
"There are no health benefits from sugar-sweetened beverages, and the potential impact of reducing consumption is saving tens of thousands of deaths each year," said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, senior author of the study and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University in Boston.
The study represents the first global report on how sugar-sweetened beverages affect rates of death in conjunction with conditions like diabetes, cancer or heart disease.
Younger adults may be more at risk
In 2010, researchers reported that sugary drinks may have been responsible for an estimated 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 6,450 deaths from cancer and 45,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease.
Young adults, in particular, had a higher risk of chronic disease related to sugary beverage consumption.
"If these young people continue to consume high levels as they age, the effects of high consumption will be compounded by the effects of aging, leading to even higher death and disability rates from heart disease and diabetes than we are seeing now," said Gitanjali Singh, Ph.D., lead author of the study.
Most of the reported deaths - about two-thirds - that were linked to sugary drink consumption occurred in low- to middle-income countries. At least 8 of the top 20 countries with the highest consumption of sugary drinks were in Latin America and the Caribbean, the researchers reported.
"Many countries in the world have a significant number of deaths occurring from a single dietary factor, sugar-sweetened beverages. It should be a global priority to substantially reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet," Mozaffarian said.
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